Let’s kick a dead horse. Life is like a box of chocolates. Dance like no one is watching, YOLO, live, laugh, love. Vomit. Life is visceral and that’s what makes it so very wonderful, it’s the perfect mask of comedy and tragedy. I’ve been thinking about this. We have so many surprises along the way, some good, some bad. Oh, but they are the manna, that’s the good stuff, the unexpected things that come your way. Much of life is monotonous and the little moments of accidental dalliance, those make the textures that weave a life. Y’all think about that and I’ll start with the surprise that came to my mind first. Way, way back, there was Mark. He had just lost his father to cancer, and I had just lost my brother to the same. We were two broken people crashing into one another. He was a good man, but our common ground was grief, albeit that, we danced our dance for almost a year, and, as they say in the bible, it was good. At the time I was living with Kate above a taxidermist. We were drunk on youth, formaldehyde and cheap rent. There was a night, above the taxidermist, while Mark and I laid in bed he said three little words. Not those three little words, he said, “What is that?” Wait. What? What is what? He said, “There is something in your vagina.” Fuck, fuck, fuck, what? Is it bigger than a bread box? Animal, mineral or vegetable? Jimmy Hoffa?
I told Mark with panic in my voice to get it. Get it now. I’ll save you the horrendous details but the story ends with Kate and Mark with a flashlight and tweezers recovering a forgotten tampon from the day before. It also ended with absolute mortification and a system of post it notes on the bathroom mirror that said, “tampon in/tampon out” for the remainder of our time above the taxidermist. Gynecological surprises are probably the least favorite kind, but we have laughed about this for years. Kate is giggling right now.
Onward. Not long ago, I was on a quick weekend getaway with some friends. We had spent the day at the pool and the swim up bar. The gang was all there – Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, and a pool full of strangers, who, with libation, quickly became our friends. Day drinking is a marathon, not a sprint, and my girlfriends had just done a 100 yard dash and were fading fast. I was talking to a couple during their nosedive and they suggested I take my friends to the room to sleep it off and we could grab dinner. New friends, awesome, we will call them Boris and Natasha. My girlfriends went to bed and I got dressed. Natasha texted to come by their room and we would go down to the restaurant together. I knocked on the door and Natasha answered wearing a strapless dress that tied in the front. She pulled that cute tie and her dress fell to the floor and she stood there naked as the day she was born. Well, except for the lucite high heels. Oh Geez.
She took my hands and kissed me on the mouth. Boris was behind her with a bottle of tequila. So, what, no dinner? Natasha was naked and I seemed to have unknowingly accepted an invitation to a mother fucking menage a trois. Awkward and surprising. I was shell shocked, but still Southern and needed to finagle a way out of this politely. Emily Post doesn’t cover regrets for threesomes. Boris was squeezing in trying to get a good look and spilled tequila on me. Fuck all this. In the end, I didn’t say anything, I just left. I went to the restaurant and got soup for my girls and went to our room. They, until reading this right now, don’t know any of this, but we stayed up eating soup, talking and laughing. This is the interesting texture of my life, and as they say in the bible, and it was good.
I came home from my honeymoon, the first one, pregnant. I had been married less than a month when the dreams started. Every night, without fail, I had the most sexually charged, erotic, kinky lesbian dreams. Sometimes they were faceless women, but some nights it was Michelle Pheiffer, circa the Baker Boys era, and it was hot, very hot, and I would wake up breathless.
Everything was on the menu – scissors, clam diving, around the world, liquor in the front, poker in the back – my dreams were of a lesbian sexual smorgasbord, and it was good. I told no one, but it was heavy on my mind during the day, worrisome, but at night, it was alright, Ms. Pfeiffer was a cunning linguist. This went on for months.
One day I was at the ob/gyn for a regular pregnancy check-up. I was around five months along then. The doctor came in and asked how I was feeling. I started crying, not the pretty Demi Moore tears, the heaving, snot slinging kind, and my kind doctor sat down and took my hand. I don’t know what he was expecting but what he got was, “I’m a pregnant lesbian (not that there is anything wrong with that) and I have a new husband and we just bought a house.” And then I cried some more. I told Dr. Wilder about Michelle Pfeiffer and my snooch filled dreams. He agreed, she’s hot, but he told me I probably wasn’t a lesbian, I was probably having a boy and I was loaded up with testosterone, and it would eventually play out. He was right, after my son was born, Michelle left me high and dry, but she came back with both of the pregnancies after. I was surprised to find that I was a lesbian, and surprised to find out I wasn’t. Isn’t life a kick in the pants?
You and I. We get up, brush our teeth, go to work. Rinse and repeat. So much of life is that. The odd little fandangos in between rinse and repeat, those are your life. The embarrassing, weird, happy, surprising, tangled moments are the ones that will make the texture you will find yourself pulling at as the years go by. I want you to take the peculiar side road, take a chance, run with scissors, I want that for me, too. Tomorrow, I will get up, brush my teeth, go to work, rinse and repeat, but I’m waiting for the next surprise, ready for the next adventure, and as they say in the bible, and it was good.
Go forth and conquer.